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Levi's begins clothing recycling in Europe
03
Mar '16
Courtesy: Levi Strauss & Co
Courtesy: Levi Strauss & Co
A year after it launched a new clothing recycling initiative in the US that enabled consumers to recycle clothing and shoes in store in aid of reducing the volume of waste sent to landfills every year, jeanswear major Levi Strauss &Co. is rolling out the same initiative across Europe starting in the UK.

Consumers in the UK can now drop-off any brand of clean, dry clothing or shoes in a specially installed collection box at their local Levi's store and will receive a voucher for 10 per cent off a single, regular-priced Levi's item in-store. Looking ahead to the future, the Levi's brand seeks to roll out the initiative across the rest of Europe by the end of 2017, the company said in a press release.

While many consumers are familiar with recycling bottles, cans and paper, many still throw away clothing.  Every year, the UK discards 350,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing into unsustainable landfills in the country.

“We're thinking about sustainability across all facets of our business and how to shift consumer behavior to make recycling clothing the norm,” said Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. “As an industry leader, we consider all phases of our product lifecycle, including stages beyond our direct control like the product's end point. Collecting used clothing at our stores makes it simple and easy for consumers to do their part and builds upon our commitment to do the right thing for the environment.”

Expanding clothing and shoe recycling is the latest endeavor in LS&Co.'s broader sustainability goal of creating an infrastructure that supports a circular economy. In the apparel industry, this refers to designing a product with recycling in mind, so that a garment can extend its life through durability and repair, be downcycled into products like insulation, or upcycled into new garments. As a company, LS&Co. has worked to lessen the environmental impact of its products, for example, using Water

 The clothing recycling program in Europe builds upon an ongoing partnership with I:Collect (I:CO), a solutions service provider for reuse and recycling of apparel, footwear and other textiles. “We admire Levi Strauss & Co.'s vision and impressive sustainability efforts. We are proud to be expanding our partnership to increase consumer access to clothing and shoe recycling opportunities,” said Jennifer Gilbert, I:CO Chief Marketing Officer. “This in-store take back programme not only makes it easy for consumers to recycle their unwanted items, but also helps create much-needed awareness about the challenge of textile waste and the aim to keep these items in an everlasting cycle.”

I:CO provides a global solution for preventing collected items from becoming waste by diverting them from landfills. The company claims it has best-in-class procedures for sorting clothing and shoes - wearable items are resold and re-worn, while other pieces are reused as products such as cleaning cloths, recycled into fibers for insulation and paddings or new products. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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